Even though he has only faced 27 deliveries, the powerful Jharkhandi has smashed two fours and six sixes and enjoys a strike-rate of 214.81. He almost blasted his team home against Rajasthan Royals last week when 21 were needed off the final over
Having arrested a two-match mini-slump with a clinical display against Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore find themselves in a good headspace as they brace for Monday’s southern derby against old foes Chennai Super Kings, the four-time former champions.
CSK lead the 30-match faceoff by a commanding 19-10 margin (with one no-result), and while that will normally count for little at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, swathed in red and black whenever the Bangalore franchise is in action, the visitors can expect their fair share of support owing the presence of their talismanic skipper.
Aura around MS still there
It’s coming up to four years since Mahendra Singh Dhoni last played for the country, but the aura around him hasn’t diminished one bit. Dhoni’s ball-striking abilities, or rather the alarming dimming of that facet, has been the talking point for the last couple of years but this season, the 41-year-old has turned the clock back with stunning effect.
Even though he has only faced 27 deliveries, the powerful Jharkhandi has smashed two fours and six sixes and enjoys a strike-rate of 214.81. He almost blasted his team home against Rajasthan Royals last week when 21 were needed off the final over.
Dhoni has been battling a dodgy knee for a while, one of several injuries that have struck CSK hard, but like their captain, the team has found a way to manage its resources. The continued unavailability of Ben Stokes and a spate of injury to their other fast bowlers, among them Deepak Chahar and Sisanda Magala, are unkind cuts but Mike Hussey, their batting coach, put on a brave face on Sunday, pointing to the plethora of all-rounders at their disposal.
Hosts appear top-heavy
RCB are decidedly top-heavy when it comes to batting, but with Virat Kohli in sublime touch and Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell not far behind, they wear a dangerous look. Pushed to a corner by Delhi Capitals’ spin trio, RCB bounced back in grand style through their own bowlers. Debutant local lad Vyshak Vijay Kumar was the undisputed hero, while Mohammed Siraj has been practically unplayable with the new ball and Wayne Parnell has slotted in nicely, like Vyshak, as a replacement player. With Wanindu Hasaranga back from national duty, RCB are at full bowling strength and will again fancy their chances in this game.